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Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2019–)

Last updated 30 May 2019

 
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Full specifications

Driving

When it comes to relaxed comfort and effortless progress, the B-Class is an ideal choice. It rides well, dealing easily with poorly surfaced roads while at motorway speeds there's very little wind noise for what is an MPV.

While it's no an SUV, it does have a slightly raised driving position, especially compared to the A-Class, which means better visibility when driving in town or parking. The near vertical rear helps here although all models come with a reversing camera as standard so you've no excuses...

In fact, the B-Class is very well equipped as standard, which goes some way to justifying the high list prices. This means even the entry-level model has Dynamic Select, which gives you different drive programs with setting options for the engine, transmission and steering.

In reality, we doubt many people are buying a B-Class for its dynamic prowess. It's much happier as a relaxed cruiser where you can enjoy the excellent ride quality. We think it's more comfortable than a BMW 2 Series Active Tourer or Volkswagen Golf SV.

That said, push it into a bend and it handles surprisingly well for an MPV, although your children in the back may not be so keen, especially if they're trying to drink a Fruit Shoot. But with good body control and plenty of front end grip, the B-Class will happily tackle corners.

The entry-level model is the B 180 which, despite the badge, is powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine. This may seem a very small engine for a car like the B-Class, but with a very respectable 134PS, it's plenty powerful enough.

And although it's a small engine, much of the vibration and noise is filtered out when you're in the cabin thanks to good sound insulation. Work it hard however and you can't escape the not particularly pleasant sound it creates.

The B 200 uses the same engine but with power upped to 161PS and far more torque - up from 200Nm in the B180 to 320Nm. Both have the same claimed fuel economy of more than 50mpg but we think the B 180 has more than adequate performance and pulls with decent gusto when you need it to. 

What lets both down however is the seven-speed automatic. The 7G-DCT is fine on the move but tends to hesitate at low speeds. We think you're better off sticking with the six-speed manual.

It means there's a second or so delay between when you press the accelerator and the power kicks in. When you're trying to pull out of a busy junction or roundabout, this is very frustrating and can be quite dangerous. It's a shame as the rest of the time the gearbox is excellent, with quick and smooth shifts.

You can also opt for the B 250 which has a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 224PS.

The diesel engines use a different eight-speed automatic which doesn't suffer from the same issues. The B 200 d and B 220 d both use the same 2.0-litre diesel engine. It’s quiet and refined engine with little in the way of tell-tale diesel grumble making its way into the cabin. 

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
B 180 Automatic - - - 125 g/km
B 180 d Automatic - - - 112 g/km
B 200 Automatic - - - 126 g/km
B 200 d Automatic - - - 115 g/km
B 220 Automatic 4Matic - - - 153 g/km
B 220 d Automatic - - - 116 g/km
B 250 Automatic - - - 143 g/km
List Price from £25,380
Buy new from £22,678
Contract hire from £247.21 per month
 

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